This is the story of a near-disaster with my brother’s wedding cake. Bro and FSIL had decided to serve a selection of mini desserts at their wedding as opposed to the usual multi-tiered cake. However, they wanted a small cake to do the traditional cutting and feeding with. I’m an amateur cake decorator, and they asked me if I would make a cake for them. I was honored but worried; I’m in California, the wedding was in New York, and I’d only have a couple of days to bake and decorate the cake while working around other wedding activities. I also knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of space to work with (I was utilizing a couple of tiny kitchens offered up by kind friends of the HC), so I wasn’t going to be able to roll out fondant or do anything super-fancy. I elected to decorate it fully with buttercream, which I work well with. I devised an art deco design (matching the wedding theme) using a technique called a Frozen Buttercream Transfer for the top, and planned beaded garlands and scrollwork on the sides.
Problem #1: My decorating kit is the size of a toolbox, and airplanes aren’t exactly welcoming about having pointy metal decorating tips on board. I threw a selection of decorating necessities into my suitcase, and ordered some other supplies to be shipped directly to my brother. Those supplies never arrived. I ended up sending my brother out to hunt down some things (as if he didn’t have enough to do) while I took time out from baking to find a kitchenware store and get what else I needed. Otherwise, I improvised.
Problem #2: Since there was no place at my hotel to keep the cake, the best man kindly offered to refrigerate it at his apartment and transport it to the venue the next day. Great! I had bought a nice plastic handled carrier to keep the cake in, so it wouldn’t be a problem for him to carry it.
After the lovely ceremony, a staff member from the venue came up to me during the pre-reception cocktail hour and asked me if I’d made the cake. I said I did, and she told me hesitantly that it had been “damaged”. Seems the best man had brought the cake from Brooklyn to Times Square on the subway. The jostling plus the heat had caused the cake to slide around quite a bit. If I’d had any idea he would be doing that, I’d have happily given him cab fare! (Which I should have done anyway, but unfortunately I didn’t think of it at the time.)
Certain the cake was now a pile of crumbs, I followed the staff member into the venue’s kitchen to assess the damage. Thankfully, all that had happened was the frosting had slid off the sides. The top (which would have been impossible to fix) was mostly unscathed. Also thankfully, I had extra frosting to work with. My boyfriend had run up to our hotel room and gotten my supplies while I inspected the cake. So there I was in this tiny kitchen, with an apron tied over my nice dress, trying to stay out of the way of the staff while they prepared dinner as I fixed the cake as best I could. I barely remember what I did; I think I mostly added more scrollwork to cover up the bumps and dents where I’d had to re-apply the frosting.
I finished the patch job and the cake was taken out to be placed on display. Everyone seemed to like it, but I was secretly glad the room was dimly lit! I even managed to make a joke of it in my toast, saying I hoped any bumps in their marriage were as easily smoothed over as the ones in the cake had been. Bro and SIL loved the cake (and sent a very touching TY note), and that was all that mattered in the end. 0403-13
If Only Life Were As Easy To Refrost As A Cake
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